“You ain’t no Muslim, bruv”

Another day and another attack, this time by a deranged young man on three innocent victims in a tube station in east London. Witnesses allege that he screamed ‘this is for Syria’ before attacking his victims, one of which is critically injured. Videos on Twitter have gone viral, and newspaper outlets are reporting that this is another terrorist attack, and where a perpetrator has evoked Syria. What is painfully missing, and it is clearly visible from a number of short videos as the perpetrator utters ‘La Ilaha Illah’ (Arabic for there is no God but God), a bystander loudly shouts ‘you ain’t no Muslim, bruv’. It also appears that the police officer who Tasers the perpetrator, and the police officer’ assistant, are both Muslim in origin, too. While a hostile response is almost inevitable, and commentators will be quick to point to the security problems that engulf Britain, the reality here is that this event demonstrates the diversity of London and the multiplicity of Muslims who live there. Half of Britain’s Muslims live in London, at every ethnic, sectarian and socio-economic profile can be found. Moreover, criminals engaged in this sort of crime are from all sorts of backgrounds. Let’s hope tomorrow’s papers can begin to at least start to get the picture right.

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